EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

February 23, 2014

North Andover Democrats to host Annual Scholarship Breakfast

NORTH ANDOVER — For those who enjoy both food and politics, the Democratic Town Committee’s Annual Scholarship Breakfast will undoubtedly be a pleasant experience.

This year’s breakfast will take place March 9 at the North Andover Country Club, 500 Great Pond Road. The open buffet breakfast will commence at 9 a.m. This should allow ample time for eating because the candidates will not begin speaking until after 9:30.

The Scholarship Breakfast typically draws just about every candidate for office, from selectman right on up to governor and U.S. senator.

Besides the opportunity to seek backers among a large group of activists, a significant attraction for this event is the straw poll. This gives candidates the chance to gauge support among Democrats who not only vote but actually get out and work for people who are running for office, according to Philip DeCologero, vice chairman of the Democratic Town Committee.

Each guest will be allowed to cast a ballot in the straw poll, which will cover races from selectman to governor. In just a little bit more than eight months, Massachusetts voters will be electing a new governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and state treasurer.

For the governorship, Democrats are looking forward to an intense battle between Attorney General Martha Coakley and State Treasurer Steven Grossman for their party’s nomination.

Locally, Grossman has the upper hand in that race. All of the town’s recently chosen delegates to the Democratic State Convention in Worcester the weekend of June 13 and 14 are committed to the treasurer, according to Tricia Melvin, chairwoman of the Democratic Town Committee.

The convention endorses a candidate, while the September primary chooses the nominee. The convention is important to candidates, however, because if they don’t get at least 15 percent of the delegates’ votes, their names are not listed on the primary ballot.

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